A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII is a role-playing video game that is rated "Teen." This is largely due to frequent violence -- using might and magic -- as well as blood and potentially disturbing death sequences. The game also features women with revealing clothing, a camera that often focuses on it, and mild profanity. There is some alcohol consumption, and there are some alcohol references, in the game.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
The latest in the Final Fantasy XIII series, which has shipped more than 10 million games worldwide, Square Enix's LIGHTNING RETURNS: FINAL FANTASY XIII is a conclusion to the Japanese-made fantasy role-playing game (RPG) franchise. In this single-player game for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, gamers play as Lightning, a young heroine on a quest to save a doomed world, and can change up Lightning's look, abilities, and actions throughout multiple, expansive environments. While adventuring through Nova Chrysalia, gamers will master the fast-paced battle system that lets players choose whom to attack, how, and when. This final chapter in the Final Fantasy XIII saga also includes some familiar faces -- including Serah, Hope, Noel, Snow, Sazh, Vanille, Fang, and others -- and somewhat ties up loose story lines from previous games.
Is it any good?
It's not as good as the previous Final Fantasy XIII games, but this final chapter does excel in deep customization options (weapons, skills, and outfits), stunning graphics (especially the cut-scene sequences but also the huge set pieces), and an interesting combat mechanic that blends speed with strategy. Problem is, this concluding adventure in the series feels more repetitive than its predecessors -- encounter enemies, defeat, move on, and start the process again -- plus the story is unnecessarily convoluted (many Japanese RPG fans already expect this, but Lightning Returns is even more difficult to understand). It's not a bad game overall, mind you, but only major fans of the series will get something substantial out of it. Note: The Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions are the same.
Talk to your kids about ...
- Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
- Subjects: Language & Reading: following directions, storytelling
Social Studies: exploration
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: applying information, decision-making, strategy
Self-Direction: effort, time management, work to achieve goals
- Price: $59.99
- Available online? Not available online
- Developer: Square Enix
- Release date: February 11, 2014
- Genre: Role-Playing
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Princesses, Fairies, Mermaids, and More, Adventures, Friendship, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires, Robots
- ESRB rating: T for Blood, Mild Language, Suggestive Themes, Use of Alcohol, Violence
- Last updated: November 19, 2019
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.